Can “swagger” be “bullet-proof?” Ask Jonathan Papelbon.

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This is quote of the day territory, but it’s a bit early and lots of players will be talking to the media today, so we’ll hold off on giving it any awards.

Jonathan Papelbon talked yesterday about how he’s approaching 2011.  The key for him is focus.  Well, not exactly, because he kept saying that “focus” is the wrong word.  But it is something about his mental approach:

He said it. He admitted the swagger was missing. He was asked about that. “It’s here, yeah,” he said. “It’s here, but I’m talking about building it here in Fort Myers and through spring training, building it up and taking into the season with a swagger that is bullet-proof.”

He paused.

“Does that make sense?” he asked.

Well, considering that no one has ever satisfactorily explained the concept of “swagger” to me that wasn’t necessarily ex-post-facto — no one who loses or fails ever has “swagger” — no, it does not make much sense.

All I know for sure is that if all of this means that Papelbon is going to be more demonstrative and fist-pumpy on the mound this year than he usually is, God help us all.

It’s pouring in Washington before the All-Star Game

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Some heavy weather moved through Washington D.C. late this afternoon, flooding dugouts at Nationals Park and sending waterfalls over the ledges of the upper decks. All a few hours before the All-Star Game.

The good news, though, is that the rains are moving out and it’s expected to be dry at game time. More good news, modern fields drain frighteningly fast, so the conditions will probably be A-OK for the game to go off on time. Indeed, a similar thing happened in Cincinnati before the 2015 All-Star Game — it was a dang monsoon — and you wouldn’t even know it by game time.

In the even things continue to be soggy and they have to postpone the game, it’ll be played tomorrow night. All signs at present, however, point to the Midsummer Classic going off as planned.

Here are some images from Washington’s monsoon:

And this, a hop, skip and a jump away from the ballpark: